San Luis Obispo County is seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases. Over the past nine days, confirmed cases grew by more than 100 in the County, according to the County Public Health Department.
Since June 17, the County’s confirmed cases total has risen by 133 to 489 as of June 25. Since Monday, there have been 58 confirmed cases, including 20 on Wednesday.
“As you can see, these case counts are going up more quickly than we are used to,” SLO County Public Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein said during Wednesday’s weekly COVID-19 update. “This is not completely unexpected. We are reopening our community and as I have said previously, cases beget cases. It is a communicable disease, so we are seeing spread, but we continue to have good hospitalization rates.”
The number of people hospitalized is stable at 10 with three in intensive care as of June 25. Only one death in the County was attributed to COVID-19.
“I do want to remind people that the ultimate public health goal here is to keep our hospital cases low, to keep people from getting very sick and winding up in critical care, and ultimately to prevent deaths,” Dr. Borenstein said.
Borenstein added they were following the metrics closely, but felt the County remains in a good position with hospitalizations.
“It was never our goal to stop this virus dead in its tracks,” she said. “That is something all of us are powerless to do. It’s not going away, so we are learning to live with it.”
Wednesday’s total was the third time since June 17 that the number of confirmed cases was 20 or more — it was 20 on June 17, 24 on June 20 and 20 on June 24.
Before June 17, the County’s highest single-day number of confirmed cases was 14 on April 24.
Paso Robles added seven new confirmed cases on June 24 to bring its county-leading total to 147. Templeton had three new cases and Atascadero had one new case.
Dr. Borenstein reiterated the importance of wearing face coverings, which Gov. Gavin Newsom mandated last week, to curb the spread of COVID-19. She also asked that people be respectful of people who are not wearing a mask. Borenstein posted an eight-page white sheet on face coverings online Wednesday.
“Simply put: If most people in SLO County wear a face covering in most community settings, and take other protective measures, we can limit the spread of COVID-19,” she stated.
Wearing face coverings in the community is most important in settings that are at higher risk for transmission — the three C’s — closed spaces with poor ventilation; crowded places, particularly where physical distancing is difficult; and in close-contact settings such as during close-range conversation, especially indoors.
“It is also imperative to not presume knowledge of others’ circumstances, which may result in some people not being able to wear a mask, even if they do not look to be of a certain age or medical condition,” Dr. Borenstein stated.
For more information, visit ReadySLO.org.